SWMBO sez baby's room needs a shelf NOW!!!! I go to Borg to get a red
oak 1x10. My plan is to cut it in half,, do some minimal finishing
for two 4 foot long quick and dirty shelves.
Problem, is, I can't do quick and dirty. At least, not with a $35
board of red oak. I sketch up the design over lunch. Getting the
sweeps on the front of the shelves is a little tricky. I take a big
french curve and sketch in some starting lines, then cut with a jigsaw
and smooth with the OSS I got at Borg w/ the 20% off coupon.
Note to self: OSS works well for inside curves, not so well for
After some more fumbling around, I figure that a laminate trimmer in
the router also works as a pattern cutter. I clean up one side to
where I want it, then use the router to repro this onto the other
board, then flip and cut again. I use a similar process for the
For the edges, I wanted a simple square chamfer. Problem is, I don't
have an edge bit that will do this. Instead, I set up a dado bit in
the router table and put a 2x4 over the bit. I raise the bit enough
that only ~3/16" sticks out. It takes a couple of passes as I have to
hit the bit with the tangent of the curve (or else it's too shallow).
I find some red oak 1x3 stock I reclaimed with the planer recently and
although it has some screw holes, I can hide them in the joint with
the center shelf. I cut out the corners of the shelves to fit the
side supports. My wobbler dado isn't tall enough, so I just take
multiple passes with the 32T combo blade, then clean up with chisel.
As I test fit the parts, I realize that I can't biscuit this joint.
Darn!!! When I sketch things out, I usually spend some time figuring
out the joints, 'cept I rushed the design. Well, only thing I can do
is dowel the darn thing. Dowels are a royal pain compared to
I cut dados into the back of the center shelf and in the fronts of the
side supports. Everything fits. Glue time. Bought some Polyurethane
glue, this will be my first experience. The water thing is kinda
screwy, but what the heck. I glue the four outside pieces. Next
morning, I'm very happy with the results. Glue in center shelf, then
clean up the joints with a chisel, and fill in the one or two tiny
gaps with putty.
Finish sand. Now the dilemna. I want to coordinate with the range of
wood finishes in the baby's room and I also need to use a top coat of
Poly. Not a big fan of poly, but what else will withstand things like
lotion, water, alcohol gel, diaper rash cream, you get the idea.
I'm thinking of a lighter , yellower version of something Minwax has
called "Provincial." Provincial is a dark brown stain with a lot of
black in it to pop the grain.
I decide to 1) Shellac 2) oil base ebony stain, 3) Sand 4) Golden Oak
Oil base stain 5) Poly.
I try a test piece. Seems to give me what I want. However, in
hindsight, it's a royal pain in the ass to do all that sanding on the
shellac to get the color balanced, and the GO stain didn't stick to
the shellac as well as the ebony, so it's a shade lighter than what I
What I should have done was 1) Golden Oak Stain 2) Ebony stain, wiped
off. 3) Poly.
Fasteners are hidden in a slot in the back of the side supports.
Turns out I got them a little low, so I had to put a single fastener
in the center of the top shelf. That's the only visible attachment to
Pics are at ABPW, comments or questions welcome....